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UMD to Launch Maryland Transportation Institute

UMD to Launch Maryland Transportation Institute



The University of Maryland (UMD) will in 2018 formally launch the Maryland Transportation Institute (MTI), a multidisciplinary research and education institute that will leverage expertise from 10 UMD colleges and schools to advance transportation innovations in the State of Maryland and beyond.

The institute will focus on key challenges such as transportation big data and data analytics, connected and automated vehicles, infrastructure safety, security, and resilience, next generation freight and logistics systems, smart cities and communities, and future mobility systems.

“MTI will work with our government, nonprofit, and industry partners toward zero traffic fatalities, congestion mitigation, infrastructure construction and maintenance cost reduction, next generation decision support systems, and advanced transportation technologies for the State of Maryland,” said Herbert Rabin Distinguished Professor Lei Zhang, director of the institute. “We want to help keep Maryland moving and make it even more business friendly.”

The institute was approved by the UMD Office of the Provost(link is external) through its Fiscal Year 2018 Initiative Program and will receive funding from both the Office of the Provost and the A. James Clark School of Engineering(link is external), which will serve as the lead school.  

Zhang, who also serves as the director of the National Transportation Center(link is external)(NTC) in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will coordinate efforts among UMD faculty and centers with more than $20 million in annual research expenditures.

Affiliated groups include the Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Lab(link is external), the largest data and data analytics center in the U.S., and NTC, a U.S. Department of Transportation-designated National University Transportation Center. MTI collaborators represent a total of 10 UMD colleges and schools: A. James Clark School of Engineering(link is external)School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation(link is external)School of Arts and Humanities(link is external)College of Behavioral and Social Sciences(link is external)Robert H. Smith School of Business(link is external)College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences(link is external)Philip Merrill College of Journalism(link is external)College of Information Studies(link is external)School of Public Health(link is external); and School of Public Policy(link is external).

“UMD has always been a leader in transportation technology. With MTI serving as the joint research and education infrastructure for all transportation-related innovation activities across multiple colleges, UMD is well positioned to become a top 10 transportation program in the world,” said Zhang, adding that the university ranked fourth in the U.S. and eleventh in the world in the field of transportation science and technology in the 2017 Global Academic Ranking of World Universities(link is external).

In addition to research efforts, MTI will also support innovative undergraduate and graduate programs in the transportation field, including online degree programs, professional training, and certificate programs. The Clark School’s Master of Engineering in Transportation Systems Program(link is external), the first of its kind in the nation, will also be expanded to include more interdisciplinary courses.

November 21, 2017


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